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Butterball vs. Jennie-O Turkey

Butterball vs Jennie-O Turkey: Which is Better?

Last Updated on June 15, 2024 by Shari Mason

Right now, *Jennie-O* and *Butterball* are super popular turkey brands.

They both have a long history of producing delicious food, but there are many differences between them and their products that you should know about before making your purchase.

So which brand has the better turkey product?

Let’s find out in this Butterball vs Jennie-O Turkey comparison.

Butterball & Jennie-O Turkey Face-Off

whole turkey on aluminum pan

Butterball turkey saves you time in cooking because they pre-baste whole birds before freezing them. This guarantees an added flavor and succulent turkey.

Their turkey breast and other meats are typically less expensive than Jennie-O turkeys per pound. You can get them in a variety of sizes, too.

In contrast, Jennie-O is dedicated to the cultivation of healthy birds. That’s why it’s safe to assume that the animals used in their goods were treated respectfully.

Although both companies are Humane Certified, Jennie-O also provides a turkey tracker to see which farms were responsible for raising your turkey before cooking.

Read:

Main Differences 

History & Reputation

Butterball is produced by Butterball LLC. It was founded in 1954 in California and became one of the largest producers of turkeys in America. [1

On the other hand, Jennie-O Turkey Company is owned by Hormel Foods Corporation and is known for ethically sourced meat. [2] 

Butterball is known for producing all-natural turkeys at a lower price. In comparison, Jennie-O is known as the “Queen of Protein” for showcasing turkey as the supreme source of protein. 

Farming Practices

Because Butterball is Humane Certified as the American Humane Association has approved their sustainable agricultural methods.

They also don’t utilize any hormones or steroids. Steroids have been banned from being used in all poultry products since the 1950s because they cause internal problems. [3]

“I know once people get connected to real food, they never change back.”

Alice Waters, American Chef

Jennie-O also goes above and beyond by providing a “turkey tracker.” With this program, you can visit the farm where your turkey was raised.

Range of Sizes

The two brands offer comparable turkey sizes.

Jennie-O offers products that weigh between 10 and 25 pounds. Butterball offers turkeys in weight categories starting at 10 pounds and going up to 20 pounds.

Turkey Quality

Butterball Turkey

We’ve had decent luck with both of these products. In our experience, the quality of a previously frozen bird has more to do with the preparation than the brand.

While the 8% solution provides moisture and flavor to Butterball products, it can make them taste too salty for some palates.

Meanwhile, Jennie-O’s All Natural Fresh Whole Turkeys have not been treated with a similar solution in the brining method.

Price Point 

Regarding price points, both turkey brands vary depending on location.

But Butterball turkey is much cheaper, with an average of $0.89 to $2.99 per pound. Jennie-O products range from $1.88 to $4.96 per pound. [4] 

Outer Packaging

Butterball uses plastic shrink wrap for its outer box, which provides extra protection from moisture and contaminants during shipping.

This packaging is also designed to keep pouches from getting too warm during transport, so they don’t spoil if exposed directly to air temperature fluctuations.

The Jennie-O turkey comes wrapped in cardboard and printed with an image of a turkey. The cardboard is then placed inside another box.

Turkey Preparation Technique

Butterball pre-baste and whole brine turkeys. As a result, you get a juicy turkey after thawing and even after cooking.

On the other hand, Jennie-O focuses on raising healthy turkeys but offers pre-brining options or oven-ready products for all recipes. 

Therefore, you can trust that their products come from humanely treated animals.

These two brands are American Humane Certified, but Jennie-O offers a turkey tracker, allowing you to check out the farms that raised your turkey.

Product Options

Butterball turkey is one of “America’s most iconic brands.” 

They also offer a more extensive selection of turkey products, including Ground turkey, Turkey burgers, stuffing, Turkey meatballs, and Turkey bacon.

Jennie-O turkey is also a famous turkey brand that offers a variety of turkey products, including ground turkey and others mentioned above.

However, Jennie-O turkey products tend to be slightly more expensive than the other brand for most items. 

Popularity

Butterball Turkeys is a more popular brand of turkey. This is because it’s cheaper and easier to find, while the other brand is more expensive and harder to find.

Consumers have also found Jennie-O turkeys to have a better reputation than the other brand.

This is because many believe that Jennie-O Turkey Products use humane methods for raising their turkey, resulting in healthier meat overall.

Weigh Your Options 

Butterball

  • Pros

Turkey is raised in all-natural options and gluten-free, budget-friendly prices for all products, with giblets taken out in whole turkeys.

They are also humane certified, and whole turkeys are pre-brined.

  • Cons

There has been a recent complaint about plastic in ground turkey, and some items contain additives and too much salt to keep the meat moist.

Jennie-O

opening a Jennie-O turkey
  • Pros

Their birds are all-natural options, with giblets taken in whole turkeys. They’re also humane certified by PAACO. Turkey tracker that encourages care for animal rights.

They offer turkey only to focus particularly on turkey quality. Aside from caring for turkey, they also focus on decreasing energy consumption and sustainability.

  • Cons

Their products are slightly more expensive than the majority of products, and there are issues, particularly in Jennie-O ground turkey products for having cartilage.

Tips & Tricks When Buying Turkey

  • Choose a pastured, natural, or organic frozen bird.
  • Avoid “injected skin” or “self-basted” turkeys, which are frequently factory-farmed and pumped with steroids to grow.
  • Find a local butcher or local farm to ensure what you will get is fresh. A wild turkey is also a better option.
  • If there’s a party, get two smaller birds. Smaller ones are easy to roast on a big skillet or rim baking sheet without a second roasting pan.
  • Avoid damaged packaging. If you thaw the turkey in cold water, holes in the bag might cause freezer burn when you store them.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eShould you buy fresh turkey instead of Butterball and Jennie-O?u003c/strongu003e

Buying fresh turkey is better than the two mentioned brands because fresh turkey holds juices better, and there’s an assurance that you bought high-standard meat. 

u003cstrongu003eIs Butterball turkey real turkey?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, their turkey is a real turkey. They are all-natural with no additives injected.

u003cstrongu003eAre frozen turkeys as good as fresh ones?u003c/strongu003e

No, frozen turkey isn’t as good as fresh because they’ve been frozen. Fresh turkeys hold juices better, and the taste and texture are better when cooked.

u003cstrongu003eWhat are Butterball turkeys injected with?u003c/strongu003e

Their turkeys are injected with basting solution or salt water and other common spices to retain the tenderness of the meat to make it juicy and tender while cooking.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis method decreases the cooking process in all recipes because the turkey is ready for the oven. 

Final Verdict

In general, the winner of Butterball vs Jennie-O Turkey is Butterball because of many reasons that, includes:

  • Their turkey products are less expensive than Jennie-O.
  • Their products offer a wider range of variations and sizes for any recipe.
  • Their turkey can be easier to find in any marketplace.
  • The outer packaging is better because of the vacuum-sealed bag.

References:

  1. https://www.butterball.com/about-us
  2. https://www.jennieo.com/who_we_are/our-company/our-history/
  3.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7750219/ 
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/how-much-thanksgiving-turkeys-cost-at-14-major-grocery-chains.html
Shari Mason

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